June 13, 2024

West Coast midfielder Jai Culley is set to make his long-awaited return from an ACL injury against the winless North Melbourne on Saturday. The Eagles will also welcome back in-form forward Jake Waterman.

The “exceptional” Eagle who is setting the standard

Culley has not played at the top level since round eight last season, shortly after earning a Rising Star nomination with a career-high four goals against Port Adelaide. The 194cm utility has impressed in seven WAFL games this season, culminating in a standout 30-disposal performance against Perth on Sunday.

Mid-season draftee Jack Hutchinson, who was announced on Wednesday, will make his debut after scoring five goals in the reserves just a week after being picked up by the club. Waterman, who missed the Saints game due to a shoulder injury, has scored 30 goals this season, placing him fourth in the Coleman Medal race despite missing two games.

The trio will replace suspended star midfielder Harley Reid, while forward Jack Williams and last week’s substitute Zane Trew have been omitted. West Coast’s appeal to overturn Reid’s two-match ban for a dangerous tackle on St Kilda’s Darcy Wilson was unsuccessful. Reid will return in round 16 after the Eagles’ bye next week, while Kelly will miss his second consecutive match with a hip injury.

North Melbourne have made two changes, with co-captain Jy Simpkin returning from a quad injury and Kallan Dawson also being included. Zane Duursma (managed) and Charlie Lazzaro (omitted) make way.

Duursma, WA defender Riley Hardeman, and Dylan Stephens are the emergencies for North Melbourne, while Trew, defender Josh Rotham, and forward Loch Rawlinson are listed for the Eagles.

**West Coast vs North Melbourne**

**Optus Stadium**

**Saturday, 2:35 PM**

– **FB:** B Hough, T Barrass, A Witherden
– **HB:** T Cole, J McGovern, L Duggan
– **C:** C Chesser, D Sheed, A Gaff
– **HF:** J Petruccelle, J Waterman, J Cripps
– **FF:** L Ryan, J Darling, B Williams
– **FOL:** M Flynn, E Yeo, R Ginbey
– **I/C:** J Jones, R Maric, H Edwards, J Hutchinson, J Culley
– **EMG:** Z Trew, J Rotham, L Rawlinson
– **IN:** J Waterman, J Hutchinson, J Culley
– **OUT:** H Reid (suspension), Z Trew, J Williams (both omitted)

West Coast Eagles forward Jake Waterman agrees new deal after considering trade | PerthNow

– **FB:** A Corr, C Comben, K Dawson
– **HB:** Z Fisher, H Sheezel, L McDonald
– **C:** D Tucker, L Davies-Uniacke, L Shield
– **HF:** J Stephenson, C Zurhaar, C Taylor
– **FF:** P Curtis, N Larkey, T Pink
– **FOL:** T Xerri, G Wardlaw, J Simpkin
– **I/C:** E Ford, J Archer, T Powell, W Dawson, B Scott
– **EMG:** Z Duursma, D Stephens, R Hardeman
– **IN:** K Dawson, J Simpkin
– **OUT:** Z Duursma (managed), C Lazzaro (omitted)

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